Despite getting outhit 9-3, Braves salvage game against Giants


Going for their first sweep in Atlanta since 1988, the Giants outhit the Braves 9-3 on Thursday, yet lost 3-2 anyway.

All three Braves hits went for extra bases: Freddie Freeman and David Ross homered off Madison Bumgarner, while Michael Bourn delivered an RBI triple after a Pablo Sandoval error put Paul Janish on base.

Tim Hudson won for the Braves, moving him to 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA in eight starts since the beginning of June. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his major league-high 28th save.

The Giants won the first two games of the series at Turner Field, 9-0 and 9-4. Had they won again today, it would have been their first sweep in Atlanta since June 27-29, 1988.  Candy Maldonado and Dale Murphy were the cleanup hitters in that series, and batting fifth for the Braves was Ken Griffey Sr. The Giants’ Will Clark hit his NL-leading 19th homer in the finale of the series.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.